« PreviousContinue »
mel of this kind, and would frequently divert us with a token of its great abilities. For he would depart from our caravan, reconnoitre another just in view, and return to us again in less than a quarter of an hour. It differs from the common camel in being of a finer and rounder shape, and in having upon its back a lesser protuberance. This species, for the former, as rarely deviating from the beaten road, travels with its head at liberty, is governed by a bridle, which being usually fastened to a ring fixed to its nostrils, may very well illustrate that expression, 2 Kings xix. 28. of putting a hook in his nose, as is recorded of Sennacherib, and may be farther applicable to his swift retreat."
Page 168. “ After the beasts of burden, we are to describe the black cattle, which are generally small and slender, the fattest of them, when brought from the stall, rarely weighing above five or six quintals. Neither is their milk in proportion to their size; for notwithstanding the rich herbage of this country, from December to July, a cow rarely gives above a quart of milk at a time; whilst the butter has neither the substance, nor the richness of taste with what our English dairies afford us in the depth of winter. The Barbary cows have another imperfection, as they lose their calves and their milk together. Here the sheep and the goats contribute also to the dairies, particularly in the making of cheese. Instead of runnet, especially in the summer season, they turn the milk with the flowers of the
great headed thistle or wild artichoke ; and putting the curds afterwards into small baskets made with rushes, or with the dwarf palm, they bind them up close and press them. These cheeses are rarely above two or three pounds in weight, and in shape and size like our penny loaves; such perhaps as David (1 Sam. xvii. 18.) carried to the camp of Saul. Their method of making butter, is by putting the milk or cream into a goat's skin turned inside out, which they suspend from one side of the tent to the other, and then pressing it to and fro in one uniform direction, they quickly occasion the separation of the unctuos and wheyey parts А great quantity of butter is made in several parts of these kingdoms, which, after it is boiled with salt, in order to precipitate the hairs and other nastinesses occasioned in the churning, they put into jars, and preserve it for use. Fresh butter soon grows sour and rancid."
Page 171. “ Among the quadrupeds of a less tameable nature, we must give the first place to the lion, and then to the panther; for the tiger is not a native of Barbary. The females of both species, have two rows of nipples like a bitch, which give suck to three, sometimes to four or five whelps. Mr Ray (De Quadr. p. 165.) must have been misinformed in giving two nipples only to the lioness. When the little ones breed their teeth, they are usually seized with fevers, which carry off three in four of them; VOL. I. X
and this is the reason, as the Arabs inform us, why their num. bers are so inconsiderable. But whether this is owing to such diseases, or to the great dispersion rather of the Arabs, Exod. xxiii. 29. Deut. i. 22. or perhaps to the much easier way of killing them, since the invention of fire arms; whatever, I say, may be the cause, it is certain there would be great difficulty at present to procure a fiftieth part of those lions and panthers, which Africa contributed formerly to the diversions of Rome.
“ I have read in some descriptions of this country, that women can be familiar with lions; and that upon taking up a stick and speaking boldly to them, they will immediately lose their fierceness and leave their prey. Something of this kind perhaps may happen, when they have been well satiated with food, at which time the lions are supposed to lose their courage, and that they therefore suffer their prey to be seized, and rescued out of their jaws. But these instances are very rare ; it oftener falling out that persons of riper age, as well as children, have been, for want of other food, torn to pieces and eat up by this devourer, as he is emphatically called in scripture, Judges xiv, 14. Fire is what they are most afraid of; yet notwithstanding all the precautions of the Arabs in this respect, notwithstanding the barking of their dogs, and their own repeated cries and exclamations, during the whole night when they are suspected to be upon the prey, it frequently happens that these ravenous beasts, out-braring all these terrors, will leap into the midst of a dowar, where the cattle are inclosed, and drag from thence a sheep or a goat. If these ravages are repeated, then the Arabs dig a pit where they are observed to enter ; and covering it over slightly with reeds, or small branches of trees, they frequently decoy and catch them. Pliny has taken notice of the same practice; which is likewise aluded to, Ezek. xix. 20. Psalm ix. 15. and in other places of scripture. The flesh of the lion is in great esteem, having no small affinity with veal, both in colour, taste, and flavour." Page 174. “ Tlie deeb is of a darker colour than a fox, though
the same bignéss; it yelps every night about the gardens and villages, feeding, as the dubbah (hyæna) does, upon roots, fruits, and carrion. Mr Ray supposes it to be the Lupus aureus of the ancients, though what Oppian describes by that name is larger, and of a much fiercer nature. The deeb is the same with the jackall, or the chat hal of the more Eastern countries, not differing much in sound from the Hebrew (w) shaal, which is rendered the fox, in several places of scripture. And as we have before observed, that this animal feeds upon fruit and dead carcases, we may see the propriety of Psalm lxiii. 10. where they that shall fall by the sword, are said to be (to become) a por tion (or provision) for the Shaalim : and of Cant. ä. 15. where
the little Shaalim are described to spoil the vines, and, as we may farther suppose, to eat the tender grapes, Bochart has made it probable, that the jackalls were the Oweg of the Greeks, the Beni-awi of the Arabians, and the ("X) ljim or lim (Isa. xii. 22. xxxiii. 14. Jer. I. 39.) which we render the beasts of the islands; an expression very vague and undetermined. Jewish commentators make it the plural of 17'X, which we render the Kite, Lev. xi. 14. Deut. xiv, 13. Of the like nature also is (Q"y) Tziim, or Ziim (ibid.), which we call in general, the wild beasts of the desert, instead of some particular well known species, as may be rather supposed, that frequents it. Whereas, by fixing the latter to the Black Cat, and the Ijim to the Jackall, both of them noted animals, frequenting no less the uncultivated than the cultivated parts of these countries, and making all the night long a perpetual howling, yelping, or squalling noise, we may have a proper notion, as is there related, of their meeting together and crying out in their desolate places. The Jackalls also, as they are creatures by far the most common and familiar, as well as the most numerous of those countries, several of them feeding often together, so we may well perceive the great possibility there was for Samson to take, or cause to be taken, three hundred of them. The fox, properly so called, is rarely met with; neither is it gregarious.”
Page 187. “ I never observed the mantes (a kind of locusts) to be gregarious ; but the locusts, properly so called, which are so frequently mentioned by sacred as well as profane authors, are sometimes so beyond expression.
Those which I saw anno - 1724 and 1725, were much bigger than our common grasshoppers, and had brown spotted wings, with legs and bodies of a bright yellow. Their first appearance was towards the latter end of March, the wind having been for some time from the south, In the middle of April their numbers were so vastly increased, that in the heat of the day they formed themselves into large and numerous swarms, flew in the air like a succession of clouds, and as the prophet Joel (ii. 10.) expresses it, they darkened the sun. When the wind 'blew briskly, so that these swarms were crowded by others, or thrown one upon another, we had a lively idea of that comparison of the Psalmist, Ps. cix. 23. of being tossed up and down as the locusi. In the month of May, when the ovaries of those insects were ripe and turgid, each of these swarms began gradually to disappear, and retired into the Metijiah, and other adjacent plains, where they deposited their eggs. These were no sooner hatched in June, than each of the broods collected itself into a compact body of a furlong or more square, and marching afterwards directly forward towards the sea, they let nothing escape them; eating up every thing that was green and juicy, not only the lesser kinds of vegetables, but
JEWISH ANTIQUITIES. the vine likewise, the fig tree, the pomegranate, the palm, and the apple tree, even all the trees of the field, Joel i. 12. In doing which, they keep their ranks like men of war, climbing over, as they advanced, every tree or wall that was in their way ; nay, they entered into our very houses and bed-chambers like so many thieves. The inhabitants, to stop their progress, made a variety of pits and trenches all over their fields and gardens, which they filled with water; or else they heaped up therein heath, stubble, and such like combustible matter, which were severally set on fire upon the approach of the locusts But this was all to no purpose, for the trenches were quickly filled up, and the fires extinguished by infinite swarms succeeding one another, whilst the front was regardless of danger, and the rear pressed on so close, that a retreat was altogether impossible. A day or two after one of these broods were in motion, others were already latched to march and glean after them, gnawing off the very bark, and the young branches of such trees, as had before escaped with the loss only of their fruit and foliage. So justly have they been compared by the prophet Joel (ii. 3.) to a great army; who farther observes, that the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and be hind them a desolate wilderness.
“ Having lived near a month in this manner, (like a peugeosoros Espos, or sqvord with ten thousand edges, to which they have been compared) upon the ruin and destruction of every vegetable sub stance that came in their way, they arrived at their full growth, and threw off their nympha state, by casting their outward skin. To prepare themselves for this change, they clung by their hinder feet to some bush, twig, or corner of a stone; and immediately by using an undulating motion, their heads would first break out, and then the rest of their bodies. The whole transformation was performed in seven or eight minutes; after which they lay for a small time in a torpid, and seemingly in a languishing condition ; but as soon as the sun and the air had hardened their wings, by drying up the moisture that remained upon them after casting their sloughs, they re-assumed their former voracity with an addition both of strength and agility. Yet they continued not long in this state before they were entirely dispersed, as their parents were before, after they had laid their eggs ; and as the direction of the marches and flights of them both was always to the northward, and not having strength, as they have sometimes had, to reach the opposite shores of Italy, France, or Spain, it is probable they perished in the sea ; a grave which, according to these people, they have in common with other winged creatures. The locust, I conjecture, was the noisome beast, or the pernicious destructive animal, as the original words may be interpreted, which with the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, made the four sore judgments that were threatened against
Jerusalem, Ezek. xiv. 21. The Jews were allowed to eat them, And, indeed, when sprinkled with salt and fried, they were not unlike in taste to our fresh water cray fish. The Acridophagi, no doubt, were fond of eating them ; insomuch as they received their name from thence. Ludolphus has endeavoured to prove, that the ('350) Shellowim, or Quails, as we render the word, which the Israelites fed upon in the wilderness, were a species only of locusts. The same opinion is embraced by the learned Bishop of Clogher, Chronol. pag. 379. who urges in defence of it, Wisd. xvi. 3. where the food of the Israelites (or the things that were sent tŁ STATISŁAugVc) there supposed to be referred unto, is said to have had ideyouicy, an ugly, odious, or disagreeable sight or appearance ; an expression, says he, by no means applicable to the quail, which is a beautiful bird, buť very much so to a locust. But not to dispute whether any of God's creatures can properly be called ugly, the ugly sight there recorded, refers to the frogs, lice, &c. that were sent among the Egyptians, as will appear by comparing the different cases and afflictions of the Egyptians and Israelites, which are all along described in contrast with each other, throughout the context ; they, especially, who are spoken of ver. 3. being no other than the Egyptians, Moreover, the quails, (gruposentea, or land-rails ) birds of the finest taste, are particularly mentioned, ver. 2. to have been their food; and also ch. xix. 12. where quails (opouyounge*) are said to have come up unto them from the sea for their contentment or comfort. And besides, the Holy Psalmist, in describing this particular food of the Israelites, or the shellowim, by calling them feathered fouls, which the locusts certainly are not, having only membranaceous wings, entirely confutes all the suppositions of this kind; as indeed the admitting them would be to confound all scripture names. It would be to make Arbah, as the locusts are always called, and Shellowim, names undoubtedly very different, to be one and the same.
« Neither has any authority been hitherto produced for taking expedis, according to the Greek appellation, for the fruit of the.lacust-tree, or the tops of plants; the name itself being rather derived from the desire or appetite which this insect has in particular of living upon such food. And besides, the expides described by Aristotle and other historians, are the locusts I am speaking of. The LXX. likewise always interpret arbah by the same word; consequently the writers of the New Testament may be supposed to have taken it in the same signification. The expides then, which St John Baptist fed upon in the wilderness, were properly locusts. And provided they appeared in the Holy Land during the spring, as they did in Barbary, it may be presumed that St John entered upon his mission, and that the day of his shewing himself to Israel, Luke i. 80. was at that season."